Task Force Takes on the Downside of Hospital Consolidation
On August 11 the Certificate of Need (CON) Task Force met for the first time to share introductions and discuss goals.
The task force was created during the recent legislative session and is managed by the Insurance and Real Estate Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly.
Recommendations are due to the General Assembly by January 15, 2023.
The task force was created in response to concerns that large, consolidated hospital systems are closing services, raising prices and not sufficiently responsive to community needs.
Possible areas to consider mentioned in the legislation include:
- Instituting price caps
- Guaranteeing local representation on hospital boards
- Enacting higher penalties and giving the Attorney General more authority to enforce CON decisions
Given the nature of the topics under discussion, and the power of the hospital industry in Connecticut, developing recommendations that result in legislative change could prove to be quite challenging.
Recommendations from a 2016 CON task force were never implemented.
The co-chairs of the insurance committee, Rep. Kerry Woods and Sen. Matt Lesser, are the co-chairs of the task force, and two ranking members of the insurance committee, Rep. Cara Pavalock D’Amato and Sen. Tony Hwang are also participating. The rest of task force membership includes three hospital representatives as well as consumers, providers and advocates for health equity, access and quality.
Several appointments have yet to be made.
Universal has put forward suggestions for task force membership and several people we recommended have been appointed. We plan to watch the task force closely and push for strong recommendations and subsequent legislation that will support the needs of local communities.
- To see committee membership and meeting schedule, agenda and minutes, go HERE
- To read a summary of the legislation that created the committee, go HERE